The thing that struck me about Banchan is the warm and casual atmosphere; it’s bustling with people from the moment you walk in. The restaurant is also quite intimate and each table has a hot plate and an extractor fan over it. When we got the menu, we took our time reading up on every item. Better still, our waitress was very friendly and was happy to explain what each dish contained as well as give us her recommendations. Let’s just say we’re newbies when it comes to Korean food.
Despite wanting to try everything, we eventually decided on a few dishes – a delicious chicken and handmade noodle soup, a rice dish called bibimbap (a signature Korean dish which simply translates to ‘mixed rice with meat and assorted vegetables’) and a vegetarian option, which came with a fried egg. We also ordered the traditional Korean BBQ, with the option of beef, pork or chicken. All these items came with different dipping sauces and, of course, the Korean staple – kimchi.
If you don’t know, Kimchi is a traditional, fermented Korean side dish, usually made with cabbage and a variety of seasonings (it is very spicy). We absolutely loved it though and ate it with everything we ordered. We also got to cook our own meat, which was actually a lot of fun.
We ended this delicious feast with a heavenly dessert called Bingsu – a shaved ice dessert, served with fruit, ice cream and condensed milk. The owner even came to our table to ask if we had a good experience and if we were happy with our meal (which we were). She even offered us warm sweet tea, which she told us her mother makes.
If you’re looking for a unique and different experience, you’ll find it here. We walked out of Banchan feeling satisfied and completely content. We can’t wait to go back!
By Barbara Sessel
Have you been to Banchan? What’s your favourite dish on the menu? Let us know in the comments section below!